When the Assyrians came down from the trees, they left a message in the snow on the window sill. ""We are hungry,"" translates the recluse Assyrian scholar (although he doesn't have to--it's in English, too). Potter digs up some nuts for his surprise guests who, even against a suggestive background, look remarkably like squirrels. Four more furry Assyrians arrive during the winter, and the lot welcomes Potter in spring when he returns the visit--via ladder to the tree outside. A mockery of (Potter's) monomania that presumes a knowledge of the real thing; the illustrations have a touch of authenticity, the text alludes to antiquity but more often resorts to modern devices (one book's written by Count Meout). Slight fantastic.